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German group honors Torqeedo in first year

Torqeedo, a German-based electric outboard manufacturer with a U.S. office in Hawthorn Woods, Ill., was awarded Start-Up of the Year by Deutscher Gruenderpreis.

Of the more than 100,000 companies founded in Germany every year, 130 were nominated for the award. This is the first time a marine company has won.

To the award committee, Torqeedo combined basic improvement in electric propulsion, perspective on market opportunities and an international approach into an “exceptionally promising” enterprise.

"We are extremely proud," said managing director and co-founder Christoph Ballin. "But the award does not belong to the Torqeedo team alone. It belongs also to our customers in 37 countries who support our products and who share our philosophy of clean, strong and modern outboards."

Michigan foundation awards scholarships
The Recreational Boating Industries Educational Foundation recently awarded $7,500 in scholarship funds to 12 students for the 2008-2009 school year.

The RBIEF scholarship fund was developed in 1984 by the Michigan Boating Industries Association as a support program for students interested in pursuing careers in the recreational boating industry.

With this grant, the fund will have distributed $306,146 to students in Michigan.

"There are many interesting and challenging jobs within the boating industry and we are passionate about educating students about our industry,” RBIEF chairman John Hatfield of Howe Interlakes Marine in Indian River said in a statement. “All industries can benefit from bright young minds and the perspectives of our younger generations.”

The 2008 RBIEF scholarship recipients are:
• Elizabeth Carney, Traverse City
• Gabrielle Giles, Grosse Ile
• Steven Hall, Temperance
• Matthew Huyge, Wyoming
• Elizabeth Stubbs, Clay
• Daniel Talbot, Grand Rapids
• Theresa Valentine, Fairgrove
• Justin Wigard, Houghton Lake
• Lea Williams, Harrison Township
• Marci Lennox, St. Clair Shores
• Kristopher Tonjes, Harrison Township
• Hannah Wolf, Clarkston

RBIF also announced its officers for the 2008-2009 fiscal year. They are: president, John Hatfield, Howe Interlakes Marine, Indian River; vice president, Robert Liggett from Grosse Pointe Shores; secretary, Greg Krueger, Jefferson Beach Yacht Sales, St. Clair Shores; and treasurer- Horst Sherriff, National City Bank, Troy.

Also serving on the RBIEF board as directors for 2008-2009 are: Jim Coburn, Flagstar Bank, Troy; Ted Sampanes, The Bostwick Group, Roswell, Georgia; Ray Underwood, Muchmore Harrington Smalley & Associates, Lansing and Van Snider, Michigan Boating Industries Association, Livonia.

This article originally appeared in the September 2008 issue.

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